Simple tips for an engaged post-retirement life for all Men
Contrary to public perception, Indian men do find it difficult to adjust to post-retirement lives. They are not so much engaged as their wives and do not find slots to meaningfully spend their time. This article is an attempt to discuss some simple tips for meaningful engagement of such men, based on a number of real world experiences and observations.
IntroductionThe post-retirement period of any Indian male's life is one that can take any shape and also go on to play meaningful roles. It is not so difficult at all. Engaging oneself in constructive tasks would involve a) Having a clear plan of action three years before retirement b) Have Plan B and Plan C ready c) Keeping a good control over expenses d) Taking up a passionate hobby and e) Spending time to develop others.
Having a clear plan of action three years before retirement Having served as a Senior level HR executive with responsibilities spanning job rotation, performance appraisal, mentorship, training and the like, Mr. Sharma (name changed) took up a teaching position in a leading BSchool the in Mumbai with Organizational Behavior as his specialization. He also got opportunities to peruse empirical research and share his practical experience in the core HR positions. He was able to have a good deal of job satisfaction. The BSchool also paid him reasonably well. In his case, the transition was very easy as the BSchool was an active partner in conduction several Management Development Programmes for the Indian multinational engineering giant with which Mr. Sharma was associated for several decades.
The aforesaid example is what exactly plans are all about. For example, a Senior Manager who had retired from a Nationalized Bank, was so particular that he would be employee as a Manager with a private Nidhi company in Chennai. Nidhi companies are registered small finance companies that are also controlled by the RBI. A company can be declared as a Nidhi only after satisfying some conditions. This gentleman's son was an IT professional, married and settled in the US. His wife never worked but was a talented singer and an expert in conducting sloka classes. She had always been active and had discussed her plans and interests in spiritual work long before her husband retired. The Rs15,000/- per month salary was no big deal. The Manager had an idea of working for sixty months after his retirement. Today, there are many people in their gated community who share cooking responsibilities and also share food almost everyday. So, if there is a clear plan of action, engaging oneself in some meaningful activity would not be difficult.
Have Plan B and Plan C readyThis is one big step. Everything does not work to one's plan all the time. Life is full of glorious uncertainties. Mr. Guru(name changed) wanted to do social work in his native Madurai after retirement. He did start this and was very active. Things changed when his only son, a banker, was transferred to Jabalpur, within six months of his marriage. His wife was so particular in joining her husband. She did learn Hindi quite fast and found an Accountant job for herself in a trading company. However, she became pregnant thereafter within just eight months. Her mother became sick at her native place near Salem in Tamil Nadu.
Mr.Guru had to pack his bags and accompany his wife to Jabalpur. Life was not so difficult. Each one of the family members found new friends. Mr.Guru put on his thinking cap. Why not become an insurance advisor? He did become one with a private company and soon found himself making good business. His son's customers became his friends and through their contacts, Mr. Guru was able to get new customers. His wife continued with her classes in Carnatic music in Jabalpur. When Mr Guru had a grandson, life changes for the better. He enrolled for a Diploma course in Investment Management and found a new passion. Today, though the 24 months of bringing up the grandson had so many ups and downs, Mr. Guru's emphasis on updating himself and keeping himself engaged, with Plan B and Plan C has stood him in good stead. His son is likely to be transferred to a branch near Bangalore and Mr. Guru and his wife plan to return to Madurai to resume their roles. Mr. Guru is now a very active insurance advisor.
What it takes in life is the spirit to make a move on in any given situation. Answers to the question, what next? in any given situation will matter a big deal. Look around for experiences of different people and learn from them. Never ever attribute everything to fate and be or become idle. Doing so will simply ruin your life. Each of the aforesaid two true examples will help anyone understand the simple tips and what it takes to put them into practice. Yes, everything depends upon situations. However, wanting to plan and executing plans does involve the ability to put on the right thinking caps at the right times.
Keeping a tight control over expensesMany Senior citizens in Chennai spend just Rs 1000 as their monthly expenditure to move around, at least till the age of 75. How? Simple. They get one bus pass for Rs 1000 and this will enable him to move around in any bus at any time in whatever route. Since the bus services are too good, they do not spend a pie extra. One can make any number of trips. A few of them zip around in their mopeds. However, other petrol expenses are zero. I am given to understand that such monthly passes are available at other cities too. Similarly, many cut down on consumption of non-vegetarian food and eating out. Having a tight control on all expenses is a meaningful way of engaging oneself post-retirement.
Taking up a passionate hobbyAfter too many years of running around and hours of hypertension on any given day, the post-retirement period is one where anyone can engage himself in childhood passions as a hobby. What had started as a hobby has now grown into a six hour per day activity for two senior citizens near Tiruchirapalli, who have put up good terrace gardens in their independent houses. They have learned everything the hard way through local farmers. However, they have put everything to practice quickly. When I saw one roof garden, I was surprised at the variety of vegetables grown. Water is fortunately not an issue. But the spirit to make a move on was very much seen. One has to just look around for such inspiration.
Spending time to develop othersThere are many Senior citizens conducting free Tamil,Hindi and English classes for poor students. Even Mathematics is taught free to plus two students by retired Engineers. Life goes on and on if we get into such activities. In fact, we would not have time on our hands. Just look around and check the entire range of activities that can be taken up at any point in time.
ConclusionThe post-retirement period of men can be exiting if they think of simple ways of engaging themselves. I always look around for real world true examples. When we start thinking of possibilities, we can find ant number of them on any day and at any point in time of our lives.
It's indeed a good article. Your suggestions seem to be very clear and refers to city lives. How about villagers who do not get the facilities? They only depend on old aged pension and cut down one meal for survival after 60 years as the word retirement does not exist. They are illiterate people who still help their families with farming.